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Rossetto, Vanessa: The Actress [2 CDs] (erstwhile)

An unusual narrative of field recordings, electronics and chamber instrumentation from composer Vanessa Rossetto, through two CDs weaving an abstracted and detailed story of recurring motifs, indescribably intertwined with spoken word, equestrian moments, environmental recordings, and melodic progressions of strings and harps; a momentous work of collaged composition.

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product information:

Label: erstwhile
Catalog ID: ErstSolo 008-2
Squidco Product Code: 32675

Format: 2 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack - 6 panel
Recorded by the artist. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi.


Vanessa Rossetto

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Artist Biographies:

"Vanessa Rossetto is an American composer. She uses primarily chamber instrumentation, field recordings, electronics and a wide array of objects. In 2008, she launched her own CD-R label, Music Appreciation. Through this imprint she has released four solo albums: Misafridal (2008), Imperial Brick (2008), Whoreson in the Wilderness (2008)and the FILE Festival-honored Dogs in English Porcelain (2009)."

-Vanessa Website (

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track listing:


1. The Actress Theme 2:09

2. Katie Cruel 25:10

3. Four Quadrants 13:29

4. Early Girl 9:56

5. Instagram Famous Cat 16:49


1. The Method 19:42

2. Meeting The Actress, Mid-Career 19:16

3. Arabella In Two Volumes 15:36

4. Bigger Than Life 2:11
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Vanessa Rossetto has been composing strange, intricate sound worlds for 15 years, and her work only gets more immersive and textural. Before she started making sounds, Rossetto was a painter, and that practice translates into a unique, tactile construct that exists in her music. Visual art can be just as transportive, but sound art has the added benefit of time. Rossetto's pieces are like moving aural paintings that put listeners somewhere else for a while, and on The Actress, her approach is at its most fully-realized peak.

Lifetimes begin and end in Rossetto's work, her selection of field recordings, and, most importantly, how she assembles these intricate, winding narratives playing out like serialized novellas. Each piece on The Actress is interconnected but also stands on its own. Melodic harp motifs on "Katie Cruel" bleed into stray birdsong and an underlying hum. Later, banal everyday movements are heightened with pensive violin arrangements, building slowly into an effusive drone. Harshness and beauty move in conjunction to accentuate the creeping force of the inevitable.

Details carry weight in Rossetto's work. Clicking and cracking sounds obscure the focus on distant voices. Electronic feedback adds spectral gloss as it becomes a sonic menagerie where the innate experience is carried forward on those elements. Then, when an out-of-breath voice and loud clatter hit at the end of "Early Girl," the potency is boosted. These moments are countless throughout The Actress. Each repetitive texture becomes the shadows where cat purrs are currency, and blurred voices speak secret languages.

Sound collage is a medium I'm so often intrigued with yet ultimately underwhelmed. Rossetto's approach and style, though, are the format at its best. Her work is imbued with a range of emotional undercurrents, spliced together in bizarre, engaging methods. At times, it's a horrorshow; in others, the dynamism and melodicism simmer with surprising humor. The Actress is a massive undertaking, but it never drags or lingers on a specific silhouette for too long."-Brad Rose, Foxy Digitalis

Get additional information at Foxy Digitalis
Related Categories of Interest:

Electroacoustic Composition
Compositional Forms
Field Recordings
Spoken Word
Sound, Noise, &c.
Solo Artist Recordings
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Experimental & Electronic Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers

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